Fighting in a relationship is always the worst, but when you live together fights take on a whole new meaning. Now, you’re fighting with your partner and your roommate. You don’t get to retreat to your home until you’re ready to see each other again. You don’t get to blast angry music and play your typical wallowing shows on TV—the person you fought with lives with you now and might ask you to turn down your music because he’s working, or change the channel because he wants to watch something else. Typically, we crave alone time after a fight, but that can be hard to get when you live with your significant other. It’s not impossible to get, but by nature of the situation, you have to go out of your way to get it, which can make the fight feel even more serious than it really is. Here are 15 true and terrible ways fighting in a relationship changes when you live together.
You have to sleep in the same bed
You have to sleep next to the person you’re angry with. You can’t get any sleep that way. You spend the entire night clinging to your side, making sure you don’t accidentally touch your partner—you don’t want him to mistake it as a peace offering!
If you don’t, it seems worse
You can sleep in the guest room or on the couch, but that somehow heightens the drama of the entire thing. Your partner will probably be offended that you do that—as if you’re doing it to spite him further.
You can’t call your friends
You can’t exactly call your friends crying and retelling the entire fight story. Your partner is in the other room. If you go for a walk to make the call, he knows what you’re doing and he’s counting the minutes until you’re back.
You can’t text your friends
If you want to just text your friends about the fight, your partner is onto that, too. And this somehow seems more passive aggressive than just making the call.
To be alone, you have to leave
If you want alone time, you have to go somewhere like a bar or restaurant or a friend’s place. But this, like sleeping on the couch, only heightens everything and makes it feel worse.
If you stay home, you get no space
If you stay home, you’re just passing the person you’re mad at in the hallway or knocking on the bathroom door asking the person you’re mad at when you can pee. It’s awkward.
If you had a friend coming over, forget it
If either of you had a friend coming over, that’s not happening now. You won’t subject them to the tension in the house. Of course, if you call that friend and ask to meet out, you have to explain why.
It taints your home for a few days
There is a weird vibe in the air for several days after the fight. Even after you makeup, it can take up to a week or more to feel happy and light again. Until then, you walk on eggshells and watch everything you say so you don’t get in another fight.
It might taint some topics forever
If your fight was about something related to the home (which it probably was) then that topic is forever sensitive. If it was about one person being too loud late at night while the other is sleeping, there will be tension there any time the night owl wants to have a friend over.
You read into every dirty dish
During the fight, you read every single thing your partner does wrong as a part of the fight. If he leaves out a dirty dish for two days, you think it’s his way of smiting you.
Crying is awkward
When you didn’t live together, and you got in a fight, you would just go home and cry. Problem solved. But now you have to cry in the same place where your partner is, and he hears you in the other room crying. If he doesn’t console you he’s a jerk but if he does, he’s not really making his point (whatever his point was). It’s uncomfortable for everyone.
You still have to say “Hi” and “Bye” a lot
Even if you’re still deep in the throws of the fight, you still have to say, “Hi” and “Bye” as you go in and out of the house, leading your lives. You still have errands to run and jobs to go to. But it feels weird greeting somebody you’re in a fight with.
You still have to talk logistics
It doesn’t matter how much you two can’t stand each other right now, you still have to calculate utility bills and speak to the landlord who has dropped by to look at your broken toilet. Do you know how strange it is to be really pissed at somebody but also have to ask, “So when did you notice the toilet making a weird noise?”
Your home is at stake
During every fight, you’re acutely aware of the fact that if things don’t work out, you don’t just lose a partner—you lose a home. Your living situation is at stake.
You can’t drown your sorrows in booze
You used to go home and drink a bottle of wine after a fight. But your partner lives in your home now, and if you do this, you will probably end up drunkenly fighting even more.